Clean Coal Technology

The following are some of the projects that we can offer:

apply online


Ash deposition process modeling for biomass based power plant

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Professor Derek Ingham

Biomass as a renewable fuel is considered to be CO2 neutral. However, firing biomass in power generation plant, either as a sole fuel or for co-firing in both air and oxy-firing conditions, causes a number of complications, such as slagging, fouling, and increased depositions and corrosion on the superheat-exchange tubes. This would reduce both system efficiency and durability. An advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics model will be developed in order to simulate the formation of aerosol, and the process of deposition of fine particles on combustion chamber and heat exchange tube surfaces, that occur during biomass combustion. The model development will be based on an existing model that has previously been developed at Leeds and will be validated against measurement data. The successful outcome of this research will be very useful for biomass fuel selection and combustion system optimization for power generation plant co-firing biomass and coal.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

Back to the top

Negative CO2 Emissions through Combining Bio-Energy and Carbon Capture

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Stringent CO2 emission reduction targets that are now in effect mean that the carbon intensity of energy generation from all sources needs to be considerably reduced in order to meet such goals. The use of biomass fuels – either dedicated biomass firing or co-firing with fossil fuels, such as coal – can considerably minimise the net CO2 emissions to atmosphere from conventional energy generation processes, i.e. combustion. Coupling biomass utilisation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies could mean the CO2 emissions from such forms of energy production are further reduced and even have the potential to lead to zero or negative emissions. This project will aim to compare different fuel resources (coal, wood chips and co-firing these two fuels) in terms of their carbon intensity and techno-economics, when used with and without CCS applications. A large-scale power facility will be modelled using the IECM and Aspen packages to achieve the project objectives, with input data and other parameters being acquired from the literature review conducted.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

Back to the top

Oxyfuel Combustion plant – CCS; experiment and modelling

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

This project will combine an experimental and modelling study of an oxyfuel combustion plant with CCS. A 250 kW pulverised coal/biomass burner operating under air or oxy-fired conditions is connected to a post combustion amine capture plant to remove CO2 from the exhaust gas stream, and the efficiency of this as a function of operating conditions will be investigated. This will be complemented by process simulation with the gPROMS or ASPEN software package to investigate the overall system performance and economics.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

Back to the top


Cleaner coal technology

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma

Coal-fired power generation currently accounts for approximately 30% of the total energy market share globally and contributes a significant portion of the total emissions to the atmosphere. However, due to the ever increasing demand for electricity, coal will continue to play a key part in meeting this future demand. Therefore, developing cleaner coal technologies, including supplementing with bioenergy and better interacts with renewable generations, are urgently required in order to cut the pollutant emissions from the power generation sector. With strong support from industry, two new areas of cutting edge research in cleaner coal technologies are available as follows:

(i) Developing new predictive tools for improving the combustion processes for coal/biomass fuels

Ignition of pulverised fuel is the first stage in the combustion process. Successful ignition is important for achieving flame stability, improving combustion efficiency and reducing environmental pollutants. Improving the fundamental understanding of ignition phenomena is required to determine the ignition mechanisms of solid-fuel particles and this increasingly relies on engineering computer modelling. This project aims to develop a deeper understanding into the mechanisms of pulverised solid fuel ignition, and to develop a predictive fuel ignition model for an industrial burner configuration optimisation. This can result in improvements to plant flexibility and energy efficiency of modern coal-fired utility boilers to meet the demand of more flexible power generation and reduced pollutant emissions from power generation.

(ii) Combustion technology for low volatile coals

Volatile combustion is typically an important first stage of coal combustion that plays an important part in flame stability and overall combustion process. However, little is known about the combustion of very low volatile fuels in large scale power plant furnaces which are used in some power plants. Significant issues exist with the efficient combustion of such coals using the traditional combustion technologies and thus lead to poor plant performance and high pollutant emissions. This project aims to investigate the unique characteristics of combustion of very low volatile content coals using cutting edge experimental and computer modelling techniques. The research is expected to fill the important gaps in knowledge of combustion of low volatile coal and potentially lead to innovative designs of burners for such coals and substantially increase the efficiency and flexibility of coal-fired power plants.


For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

Back to the top

Comparison of entrained metal aerosol emissions from conventional fuel combustion

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Karen N Finney

Metal/inorganic impurities in fuels can have detrimental impacts on combustion and downstream systems. These vary widely between fuels and there are distinct differences between conventional coal and biomasses used for UK power generation. This project will compare emissions from these fuels throughout the combustion/capture plants at the UKCCSRC PACT Facilities. This will be monitored via state-of-the-art diagnostics, using ICP-OES to generate data concerning quantitative simultaneous multi-elemental detection of metal aerosols. The research will focus on a range of volatile/non-volatile species (major to ultra-trace elements), including alkali (K, Na), transition (Fe, V, Zn) and heavy (Cd, Hg, Cr) metals, as well as acidic elements (S), which are of interest as they are toxic, easily vaporised and/or cause operational issues. Coupled with data for ash residue analysis, mass balances will enable the determination of element partition/the fate of specific species, aiding in the development of gas cleaning methods tailored for individual fuels and operation conditions.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

Back to the top